home + garden

Home Organization Project 41

Natural decorations from Go Gingham

This week’s home organization project – if you’re new – hello! – as part of this year’s New Year’s Resolution, each week, we’re cleaning and sorting out a different area of our house. This is week #41 of the year long project and it’s getting easier to get rid of stuff.

For years I’ve kept all of the seasonal holiday decorations and artwork – well, they’re not really artwork but more school classroom projects – that my kids made when they were in elementary school. Kindergarten and first grade art adorned our windows and walls for each different season for years. Yesterday, I recycled it all.

Decorative gourds from Go Gingham

Before you start thinking that I’m a mean mom, these things were looking pretty worn and tattered – sort of like the ratty-tatty pillowcases I mended up – and it was time. The kids are both in high school and I’ve saved plenty of their nice artwork – and decorated our home with it. Not every piece of artwork or classroom project is worth keeping, so into the recycling bin it went.

Next, I sorted through all of the Halloween decorations and decided to recycle or donate almost everything else. I want less stuff and while I love to decorate for the seasons, I like to use nature and fruits or vegetables. That way, when the season is over, we eat the decorations or compost them. Easy, inexpensive, and no shopping is needed – especially if it’s from our garden. Here’s how to roast squash and pumpkins to make soup.

My other seasonal decorating trick? Tablecloths. As a sewer, I’ve sewn and added to our seasonal decorations with tablecloths. They transform a room in seconds. And because we only use them once a year, they look new. Easy.

What else did we keep? Really nice decorations – mostly ceramic items. These have been collected over the years at estate sales and garage sales – or inherited. We don’t have many but I like to keep my eyes peeled to add a few special ones now and then.

Homemade Halloween decorations table cloth details

Home Organization Project 41

  1. This week’s project. Seasonal decorations – but not Christmas. Look for that when we get the tree!
  2. Small. It’s one Rubbermaid tub of decorations, a space at the top of the kitchen cabinets, and the tablecloths that got hung during home organization week # 27 – when we did tablecloths and cloth napkins.
  3. Clear and clean. Everything came out. At first my husband and I looked at each item and said, “Oh, remember when?” And then, we talked about whether it was worth keeping and decided, no.
  4. Get set. A recycling bin got packed and into the donation container went the rest. I even donated a pumpkin head that I was going to paint with the kids when they were younger but we never got around to it!
  5. Stop buying. Well, I’m not saying I won’t buy anymore decorations because I may but I will buy second-hand, first. (Read about shopping second-hand, first, before buying new.) I also want to sew Easter tablecloths but I always forget until Good Friday.
  6. Less is more. True and we kept some sweet paper Thanksgiving turkeys (that had four or five legs!?) that were made years ago. They’re nothing special but we all wrote down what we were thankful for. We kept those.

Another week and another week that Brad has put off doing his closet. He keeps saying we’re going to work on it but we haven’t – yet. Maybe next week? We’ll see….

I hope your home projects are coming along!

What home project are you working on this week? Do you have to bribe or persuade anyone to help?

52 weeks of home organization

As part of our New Year’s resolution, we’re cleaning out a different area of our house every week this year. Find all of the “weekly home organization projects” – or click the image below.
Home Organization in 52 weeks from Go Gingham



3 thoughts on “Home Organization Project 41

  1. I don’t think you’re a mean mom at all! Later (much, much later, I hope), your children will be grateful that you’ve done the work of paring down your possessions and keeping only a few meaningful items. It sounds as if you’ve kept enough to spark their memories, but not so much that they’ll feel overwhelmed with stuff. Too much of a good thing isn’t.


  2. I don’t think you’re mean either! I admire your resolve and ability to get rid of these things, and I wish I could do the same. My children’s things – their schoolwork, far too much of their clothing, anything they’ve written or drawn – all these things are proving to be extremely difficult for me to get rid of. I completely agree with what Rita said above: your kids will be grateful in the future when they don’t have to go through the work of paring down all their stuff, and too much of a good thing isn’t… And while I know all that in theory, it’s still so hard for me!

    And I’m completely with you on the seasonal decorating: tablecloths and children’s artwork are pretty much all I do as well. I love that I don’t have to find storage for a bunch of stuff!


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